Business aviation flying last month in Europe climbed 2.5 percent year-over-year, to 87,826 departures, and the year-to-date trend is up 3 percent, an increase of 13,950 flights from 2016, according to data released today by WingX Advance. “July is the peak month so far in 2017…and is also only 1 percent down from pre-crisis July 2008,” the business aviation data firm said.
Following the trend so far this summer in Europe, the strongest expansion in flight activity last month was in the Mediterranean, with business aviation flying rising 7 percent year-over-year in Spain and double-digit growth in flights from Turkey and Greece. Germany and the UK also saw gains of 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Both countries have year-to-date growth trends approaching 4 percent, WingX said.
Without the boost in traffic it had last summer from the Euro Football Championships, activity fell 5 percent year-over-year in France. Business aviation activity also dipped in Benelux and Switzerland in July.
Europe’s business jet connections with Russia increased 6 percent last month, and transatlantic arrivals from North America gained 2 percent, but inbound traffic from the Middle East and North Africa was curtailed by 5 percent, according to WingX. Though flights from Europe to Asia-Pacific plummeted 15 percent last month, the number is up 9 percent year-to-date.
Private flight activity was flat year-over-year in the region, with a “big drop” in France offset by gains in other markets. European charter activity, which has grown every month this year, was up 5 percent in July.
The busiest airport last month was Nice, with modest growth due to rising air charter demand. Paris Le Bourget saw a “sizeable” year-over-year decline, with “small” fall offs at London Luton and Zurich. WingX said that the fastest year-over-year airport growth last month was at Moscow Vnukovo, London Biggin Hill and Athens.
“The hotspot in summer 2017 is the charter market, especially in the Mediterranean region, with many leisure resorts seeing double-digit year-over-year growth in flights,” said WingX managing director Richard Koe. “The connections are largely from Northern Europe and particularly the UK and Germany. Biggin Hill is clearly one of the airports feeding this growth. From the rest of the world, there’s some robust recovery in Russia, modest increase in transatlantic connections and a drop off in Middle East and Africa demand this month.”